All the pharmacies in Norway register prescriptions electronically, and the information is sent in monthly reports to NorPD (via Statistics Norway). The patient’s personal ID number and the prescribers ID number are replaced by a unique pseudonym by Statistics Norway. This makes it possible to link drug use to individuals without knowing their identity.
Personal information is not disclosed from the NorPD. The database is governed by the national regulation of 17 October 2003 about the collection and processing of health data in the Norwegian Prescription Database (see below).
Aim of the NorPD (Regulation § 1-3)
The legal basis for the NorPD is the Regulation “Forskrift om innsamling og behandling av helseopplysninger i Reseptbasert legemiddelregister (Reseptregisteret)”. The aims of the NorPD are described in § 1-3; To collect and process data on drug consumption by humans and animals to:
- Describe drug use patterns, highlighting changes over time.
- Promote and facilitate research and reviews of the safety and effectiveness of the drug use.
- Serve as a management tool for the authorities in order to ensure prescribing quality in addition to general surveillance, control and planning.
- Give the prescribers a basis for internal control, as part of an audit method to improve the quality of prescribing practices.
Use and delivery of data from the NorPD is evaluated according to the aims listed above.